After “years of pressure” from its physician members, Sermo, an online physician community has finally announced plans to create a mobile app. Sermo inked a deal with Janssen Global Services to develop mobile and web services that will specifically enable physicians to more easily refer patients for care. Sermo says it has 120,000 physicians as members, which makes for one in five of all US physicians.
Sermo said one of the drivers for moving to mobile is that more than 50 percent of its members are now smartphone users. While the company did not offer a specific percentage, it sounds like the figure is well below the oft quoted physician smartphone adoption figure from Manhattan Research, which believes that smartphone adoption is currently north of 72 percent of US physicians.
The companies’ press release stated that both physicians and patients complain that care today is compromised by lack of connectivity and follow-up:
“Our research shows there is tremendous frustration among doctors and patients about the lack of solutions to coordinate care, and new technologies appear to be compounding, rather than solving, the problem,” Daniel Palestrant MD, CEO and Chairman of Sermo stated in a press release. “EMR and EHR have become so contentious among physicians, because they create barriers and introduce complexity into the patient relationship, rather than remove them.” Dr. Palestrant continues, “For years we have been under tremendous pressure from our community to offer a mobile application, but we have resisted because we wanted to have a truly transformative impact on the point of care. Our community has validated that our approach achieves that goal.”
Based on a conversation MobiHealthNews had with Sermo two years ago, it might be a safe bet that Sermo’s mobile offerings will land on the iPhone first:
“We don’t have any near-term strategies on mobile,” Sharp told MobiHealthNews in April 2009. “But I think that there are some really good mobile technologies already out there for physicians, like applications for information for providing patient care. That’s not something we’re looking to pursue, because I don’t see any reason to reinvent a very, very good wheel,” Sharp said. “I am sure at some point we will actually get on the iPhone,” Sharp relented. “I’m a little biased — I’m an iPhone junkie. At the office, we are an all-Mac company, so I do anticipate that, at some point, one of our developers will get the itch to write an iPhone app. So we’ll probably have more on that down the road.”
And here we are.
It’s also worth noting that pressure from the recent launch of Doximity, which was founded by former Epocrates’ founders and pulled in $10.8 million in initial funding, may have had something to do with the sudden “itch” to launch a mobile offering.
More in Sermo’s press release after the jump. Keep reading>>